“The Angel of Mostar” saves 57 women and children from Ukrainian horror | World | New

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Nicknamed the Angel of Mostar for her selfless work during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, she stepped in again – this time to save more victims of the devastating invasion.

Sally, 59, founder of UK charity Save A Child, succeeded in her mission to get 54 orphans and their guardians out of Ukraine in March.

Shortly after this evacuation, she returned to the battered city of Dnipro – after receiving permission from Olha Stefanishyna, the country’s deputy prime minister – to help more families flee.

Sally spent three difficult months traveling and negotiating to bring the group to the final leg of their journey to safety.

Authorities had arranged transport to a safe haven in Janow Podlaski in Poland, which included three railway carriages.

Some families had to leave in such a rush that they didn’t have time to pack properly – with belongings piled into plastic bin bags.

Sally said: “The journey lasted 22 hours, much of it in complete darkness as the blackout blinds had to be closed to prevent the train from being targeted by Russian forces.

“We finally arrived at the Polish border on May 15 and checked into a hotel hosting refugees in Janow Podlaski.

“We submitted the details to the Home Office, but as quickly as we sent what they asked for, we were asked for more.” The hotel, after more than a week of waiting for visas, was no longer able to accommodate the group, so Sally booked them into a refugee center in Warsaw.

Conditions there were grim as 3,000 beds were “crammed into the vast, windowless exhibition center and the children were sick”.

On May 26, the Interior Ministry said visas would not be issued through the Homes for Ukraine program because the party was too big.

This is despite the Steve Morgan Foundation’s charitable offer to fund hotel accommodation and food for all women and children for up to six months.

Sally added: “We were told to apply through the Super Sponsor Scheme in Wales and managed to submit 57 visa applications before the scheme closed.

“They still had to wait six weeks and one or two families gave up, but we managed to find sponsors thanks to Homes for Ukraine.”

The aid worker, from Brighton, is due to fly to Birmingham with the group on Friday. When they land, his “work will finally be done”.

The Steve Morgan Foundation, which paid for the group’s flights to the UK, said: “We are delighted that after months of negotiations places have now been secured.”

Save A Child depends on donations, to donate visit: www.saveachild.uk.

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